Giving Thanks, Being Forthright, and Changing Direction of the Blog

Firstly, for Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank all of you.

It’s a pleasure writing for you.

Thank you very much for reading the blog. And for sharing it with your friends and family.


Secondly, thinking about the future of books has made me realize that the blog’s actions and aims are pretty deluded at this stage. Reality has a way of punishing us for our delusions and perhaps it’s time for me to be super forthright with myself and everyone else – before the punishment arrives.

  1. This blog needs to focus 100% on what’s best for readers. That means you’ll see a few changes – links to Nook Touch and Nook Tablet on every page (which I make no money from, though I do from Kindles). Honestly think they are (along with Kindle Fire and Kindle Keyboard) the best eReader and Tablet choices – so not linking to them all this time was being dishonest.
  2. Removing links to Kindles that are not 9 stars out of 10. Kindle Touch and new Kindle are good but they aren’t the very best. So the multiple links to them on every page are now gone. Might go through various review posts and make updates in the posts themselves too – However, there are 3,000+ posts on this blog so it’s probably not going to happen soon. A $99 Nook Touch with physical page turn buttons and no ads is better than Kindle Touch – so it gets the link on every page.
  3. This blog needs to switch to either – Link to all eReaders (to avoid financial bias to one company) OR Link to all eReaders without associate links.

I think money always leads to a loss of purity and the hope is that we can make our apps business big enough to end all the associate earnings from this blog and focus it purely on books and readers and authors.


Thirdly, as far as the focus on free books – it’s a difficult choice. There is value to readers. At the same time, the tons of free book offers are definitely destroying the value of books. In the short-term, they benefit readers and hurt authors. In the long-term, they hurt everyone.

There’s also some fundamental flaw in me linking to free books that make authors nothing but make me a commission (due to other things bought at Amazon). It’s treating books as loss leaders and goes against my love for books and the desire to see them valued for what they are.

By January 1st, 2012 I’ll make a decision (and will let you know) between:

  1. Option 1: Only mention free books that are (ironically) from Publishers and rated 3.5 stars and above OR are indie but rated 4 stars and above. Not mention short stories.
  2. Option 2: End the free book updates. There are lots of good options like eReaderIQ and Kindle World so it’s not a big loss.

In either case, I will stop using associate links with free books – If the author is not making money, then I don’t want to either. This whole concept of giving away books for free for the imaginary carrot of future sales is a delusion. There are no future sales – only tons of hungry authors willing to be the next group of idiots giving away their work for free.


Fourthly, disclosing all conflicts of interest.

I’m part of two companies and together we cover:

  1. This Blog.
  2. Apps for Kindle.
  3. Apps for Kindle Fire.
  4. Apps for Nook Color. Pretty much equivalent to 3. since both use Android and have the same screen. When we have our apps polished enough for Kindle Fire, I’ll let you know.
  5. Blogs for Kindle Apps (more than one). We can’t really compete with companies like EA unless we reach customers directly and that’s why the blogs.
  6. Blogs for Nook Apps (one). Same motivation – to reach customers directly.

As small companies we have very little control over things. Hence the need for direct channels to our customers.

When you come to the blog you should be aware that every Kindle sold and every Nook sold and so forth has a benefit and thus introduces bias.

The various conflicts of interest probably cancel each other out in Kindle and Nook Land but are probably HUGE when it comes to Kindle+Nook vs iPad.


Fifthly, the blog’s aim of helping readers and books has devolved into helping Kindle sales. That’s sad and it’s far less than what the blog could achieve. It would be a pity to have a chance to do something good for the future of books and not take opportunity of that.

So it’s time to change direction of the blog.

What is the new direction of this blog?

Well, actually, it’s what the original direction and aim was. Before it got thrown off by getting too attached to Kindles and forgetting the larger issues and getting distracted by financial considerations.

To Help Readers and Authors and play whatever positive part possible in the Democratization of Publishing. To help positively in some way to build a better future for books and for readers and authors.

The Old Man and the Wasteland (in a good sense) and The Hunger Games (in both a good sense and a bad sense) are the two books which motivated me to rethink what this blog is doing and the net conclusion was that it’s not really doing a net positive for books.

If the authors of these and other good books have to still struggle with gatekeepers. If they still have to struggle to earn what they deserve. Then as readers we should be sad at the missed opportunity.

We are in danger of ending up in a world where authors exist (yet again) at the mercy of a gatekeeper and where books are devalued to almost nothing – and it’s time for this blog (and hopefully all of us) to join the resistance.

The one real good that has come out of all of that has happened with eReaders and eBooks is that readers own their Kindles and Nooks and Tablets. Readers are very smart people. So the only thing missing is an intelligent, social crowdsourcing engine. That, along with old Publishers and new Publishers and platforms, would form a really good basis for a healthy Publishing world.

Now I’m going to figure out a way to focus this blog on the only three things that matter in Publishing: readers, authors, books. And to keep that focus and act in the best interests of these three parties.

33 thoughts on “Giving Thanks, Being Forthright, and Changing Direction of the Blog”

  1. Please, please go with option 1! I really enjoy both the free book listings and your commentary, which I find very insightful (I currently own a refurbished Nook, first generation).

    I really appreciate your honesty and integrity, and I don’t feel as if you have been pushing Kindles at all. You have been very fair and forthright in your reviews.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    One grateful reader of this blog.

  2. Whatever your ultimate decision is, I’d like to thank you for the many thoughtful posts that you’ve shared with us. Your comments are always worth reading and are far more helpful than a plain listing of what’s free. I, too, would prefer option 1 (and yes, with screening to include only those books with good reviews). Although I still think the Kindle 2 was by far the best ereader back when I got it, I now find the Nook Easy Touch with its physical page turn buttons a very convincing device. If only it were available in Europe! So I’d be happy with a change of focus from “_Kindle_ Review” to “ebook reviews” with updates on new developments in ereaders. Again, thanks for everything!

  3. WOW.
    OK, I understand your commitment to authors, books and readers.
    I also understand your conflict at this time.

    I’m basically a library girl. I also read 3-5 books per week. So, buying books is not what I do. Reading books is what I do.

    Here’s what I discovered:
    going to the Kindle World website, and doing the search for free books, well let me tell you upfront it was totally frustrating to me.

    Most of the “free” books are no longer free; the Amazon Prime deals don’t apply to me; it takes too long to find one or two good books to read because you and Happy Reader Joyce totally spoiled me by providing a list with summaries, allowing me to pick through in minutes what it would take me HOURS going to the Amazon site and slogging through the offerings myself.

    My hope is you continue to show the list of free books.
    Happy Reader Joyce must spend hours putting together that assortment every few days. What stellar commitment! Did I thank her yet for all the fine lists I’ve perused over the last months?

    I’ve spoken to many people about your blog and the lists, and so many of them also wait daily for your email, same reasons as myself.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

    Still loving your commentaries and insights into this whole publishing word issue.

    Thanks for your dedication and all the work you do.

  4. I agree with the comments, especially those of Todd Beall and Jackie; This blog is superb – one of my top 3 favorites! I enjoy both the insights and free book lists (though I agree – skip the shorts and low quality ones), and am thankful for the great enjoinment you have provided us over time. Whatever you decide to do – we’ll keep visiting the blog and be thankful for whatever you can/want share with us.

  5. First, thanks for the good and thoughtful work you do on this blog. I look forward to each email, and I also spring 99 cents a month to have them pushed to my K3 as they become available. I am a fan and like your analysis and reasoning. I have never thought your intent was to push one reader or system over another, ie Nook v. Kindle. I’m also certain most of your regular readers were aware you were associated with other enterprises, but your opinions don’t appear to be colored by this association.

    I would prefer option 1. Option 1 would provide me with information I need, can use, and have difficulty finding elsewhere. And it could only help this new system of author/publisher/device/reader.

    Thanks for the work you do, and I remain a fan and regular reader. New blogger Meaghan is doing a good job, just as you predicted.

  6. I have found your blog by far the easiest way to keep on top the free books. I have done a lot ot looking at other site and on the Amazon freebie pages and really- your regular emails are the most helpful! They save me countless hours each day.

    As for your pushing Kindle. I skim those blog entries. I note what you are saying but I dont take it without a grain of salt. Mostly I enjoy the humor and irony of the words. I am not looking to replace my current Kindle model, but if I were to at some point I would do my homework. I wouldnt just take your kindle recommendations without considering what is available at that time.

    If all you change is your editorials on which models you promote, I will stick with your blog! But if you get rid of the free books lists, I wouldnt have a reason to read your pithy comments and monologues!!!

    First thing I do every morning is check to see if I have a freebies email from your blog!!! It would be a sad day if you decided to get rid of it…

  7. There may be other options for finding free eBooks, but this one is the best of the bunch (as others have pointed out). I hope you’ll continue to post the listings; I share them to Twitter and mention authors I know that appear thereon.

    I haven’t worried so much about the blog became Kindle-centric over the last year, especially since I have a Kindle. 🙂 But I wouldn’t mind seeing more Nook eBooks and especially other venues/listings — if nothing else, it’s a good reminder that the world isn’t all Kindle. Happy Reader Joyce is an awesome source of information, and it’s a pity there isn’t someone like her on Smashwords. Soulkeepers author GP Ching told me that the book (appearing in Wednesday’s list) had been free on Smashwords for six weeks before Amazon figured it out & price-matched. How many other good books are free on Smashwords that we never see in the listings here, I wonder?

    And I echo the sentiments about Meaghan. Her essays are well-written, and provide a good basic overview of the current situation in publishing. I hope we’ll see plenty more of her posts in the year ahead.

  8. I really appreciate your love of books and thoughtfulness on the subject of the new publishing world. However, I’m a bit more optimistic. I think cream will rise to the crop. The more freedom people have, the more they want to make their own decisions. Many will be contrary and ignore the bestseller lists to go on the hunt for the gem that no one has heard of. Just like in music–everyone wants to be the one who discovered that great new band.

    I also think the free book thing will eventually be curbed and prices will rise to a comfortable $2 to $5.

    Readers will become quickly impatient with bad writing/grammar/covers which will force the quality upward (that’s already happening) and bring back that increase in value you mentioned.

    Authors will be able to make names for themselves thru niche marketing and word of mouth and reader connections via social networking.

    I’m hopeful this will bring about more value of the written word and a deeper connection between the author and reader. Yes, everyone wants the blockbuster that appeals to the widest audience, but the books/movies/music that tend to make the most impact in our lives are usually off the beaten path.

    It will be a messy, chaotic time in publishing, but I believe it will eventually settle into a better place for readers and authors alike.

    PS. Keep your associates links. There’s nothing disingenuous in that. It’s just a little renumeration for you hard work!

  9. Sounds to me like you are a person/company of integrity. And, that you have the best interest of your organization, and the rest of us, at heart and that is a good thing. I salute you for your honesty with us, and for moving back to that which gives you the pleasure of living an honest life. I never really thought of the whole situation as you have until now and I see it clearly now.

    As a side note, what we put out into the world will always find its way back. So I’m quite sure you will be blessed by this move.

    May you have a very blessed 2012!

  10. Interesting debate, and very understandable.

    Hopefully you will continue to share free books (seriously, love the commentary), though some curation is likely needed. Sharing *all* the freebies really isn’t possible anymore as it once was – so hey, if it looks like trash to you, feel free to curate based on your opinion! It’s your blog, you provide your opinion in the form of commentary, so maybe opinionated curation is the way to go… 🙂

    Regarding the eReaders and the stores. The 4th generation Kindle may no longer be the best eReader (the Amazon gods may strike me down for saying so), but shopping at Amazon still is the best customer experience. You may not recommend the Kindle, but do you recommend the customer experience at B&N? You can’t easily have one without the other.

    P.S. Any thoughts of creating a Facebook page?

  11. Abhi, as an author I appreciate reading your blog for information and I’ve been reading it for a couple of years. I’ve been grateful for your mentions of my books from time to time. I also worry about the proliferation of free books and the number of sites dedicated solely to them, and all the tweets and Facebook messages (I’ve made a couple of books free for a limited time, and most writers don’t mind thanking their readers or trying to reach new ones that way).

    However, there are plenty of concerns about how free ebooks and libraries will affect the ebook market. And, there could be a future where “free” is the expected price (although the revenue sources may well change to advertiser- or sponsor-supported books instead of sale prices). I would still write, because I love it, but without the ability to earn money, it would be more difficult to justify the immense amount of time it takes to write a novel.

    I am open to change and I am prepared to change dramatically as this era evolves, so I don’t have a stake in any particular way the “world must work.” I just see an inevitable downward spiral of ebook price and value, perhaps to a point where many writers lose the incentive to write.

    So I can’t tell you what direction to take, but your integrity is above question in my mind. Good luck and thanks for your blog posts!

  12. Thank you for being honest with your readers and putting yourself out there, so to speak. I’m rather new to all this and don’t understand the ins and outs of the publishing business, but I can say without reservation that you must follow what you believe to be the path of integrity and honesty. You must be able to look yourself in the eye each morning and feel right about what you contribute to this world. While the broad, easy path may be one that has money/reward as its sole motivator, and while many, many people choose this way, deeply happy are those who follow what they know to be morally ethical and upright.

    Because you care about these things, I feel certain you will make the right decision. Good for you for being willing to objectively look at what you do and make adjustments you deem necessary. We would all benefit from this sort of self-appraisal, now and again!

  13. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, but I have to admit, I really focus on the free books.

    While I put off buying a Kindle for quite some time, I am an avid reader. But, at the current prices for hardcover and even paperback books, I could never afford to buy all the books I read. I often check out a dozen books from the library, and finish them within 3 weeks. Can you imagine how much money I’d spend if I bought 4 books per week, even at a discount? I’m also retired, so am on a fixed income, so that restricts my spending to the necessities of life.

    While you say it hurts authors, it has actually introduced me to many authors I wouldn’t normally try, because their books are not at my local library. Because of the Kindle, I’m also revisiting many old classics that I read while in school, and I now have the opportunity to read many books that are out of print.

    Don’t forget, established authors get a hefty income from their books, and many new authors can’t get their books published by the big publishing houses. One of my favorite authors, who has written a series of entertaining mysteries, has posted on her blog that her publisher won’t approve her next book. I guess it’s not as successful as they want. Now she has to find another publisher or e-publish. That’s not being fair to an established author.

  14. I’m in the Option 1 camp.

    Your blog led me to the Sasha, which led me to purchase the 3 remaining books (though, ironically, I bought the trade paperbacks used as the Kindle prices were crazy). That series, along with some other amazing free books linked on your site have brought a ton of pleasure to me.

    I appreciate your concerns, but I do urge you to keep mentioning quality free books. From looking at the other two sites, I can safely say that I won’t use them much, so I’d miss out in the future.

  15. The commentaries you leave for free books are indeed one of the the things that keeps me coming back. So I would hate to see them go.

    Also, you claim that the carrot model doesn’t work, but I can attest that that statement is simply not true. I have launched into quite a few series that I would never have given a second thought to if the first book hadn’t been offered free. I’ve purchased many books in the $.99 to $10.00 range all because the first books in the series were offered free. So, I think they do work.

    So I guess I’m saying option 1 sounds better to me.

    Also, isn’t this blog called “Kindle Review?” I know the web address is ireaderreview, but the top of the page says Kindle Review, even on the main page. Soto me it doesn’t seem disingenuous or deluded to only focus on the Kindle, as that seems to be what the blog is all about. I mean, if you want to change that focus, then that’s your prerogative, but it sounds like you’re doing a fair bit of beating yourself up over something that was never in doubt in the first place, as least to me as a reader.

    Either way, love this blog–keep it up!

  16. I think expanding your coverage of the Nook product line is an excellent idea. Regarding the listings of free books, 99% of them are of no interest to me personally, but it seems that many people do enjoy them. One thing I hope you don’t change is the clean, graphics-free appearance of the blog itself. One of the reasons this is my favorite e-reader blog is that I do not have to hack my way through a jungle of ads, cover images, links, and other clutter to get to the useful information.

    Just a quick note on point # 2: I’m beginning to the think that the K Keyboard (which I own) will end up being the most perfect iteration of the e-ink Kindle line. The K Touch and Mini K have their virtues but also, it seems, significant drawbacks. I was quite surprised at the number of negative reviews that the K Touch, in particular, has accumulated on Amazon. Given the nearly universal praise heaped on previous models, that’s not a good sign.

    1. Yes, I agree with you on the surprising number of negative things about the Kindle touch users have mentioned and the fact that it’s the first Kindle that isn’t getting rated a very solid 4 or 4.5 stars.

  17. [First, before I forget to ask: any thoughts/comments on the rumour about the colour eInk/Mirasol ereader supposedly coming out soon/2012? Do you have any scoops?]

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. I love the philosophizing, almost never use the free book listings — except as a source of entertainment when you go to town on the humorous descriptions/”mini-reviews” — and get a kick out of the psychoanalysis of the Cult of all things “i,” particularly because in my family there are several who worship at the altar of Jobs. (I do not.) Judging by the previous comments to this blog post, I’m an atypical reader/follower.

    The most important (to me) statement in your post is, “…the only thing missing is an intelligent, social crowdsourcing engine.” We already have an artifically intelligent crowdsourcing engine in the form of “those who bought also bought” links on their website. It’s impossible to imagine anyone — except perhaps Google — going head-to-head with Amazon in that arena. It would be a suicidal business decision.

    But we can have non-business-model crowdsourcing. When you consider the success of the free software movement, and the potential for monetizing services provided around free software, the potential for success of a free recommendation engine is not totally a pipe dream. Perhaps your companies, and businesses like them, hold the key to competing with Amazon’s passion for being the best shopping experience in the world. Perhaps there are young coders and software engineers in your companies, and others like them, who will see the opportunity to gain reputation and give back, by enabling a sort of open-source entertainment (why stop at books? particularly when they may not survive long in their current form?) recommendation engine. At one point, Facebook embodied the glimmer of that promise, and it still is a valuable tool for making and guiding popular movements, both frivolous and serious, but it’s all things to all people now. There is room for a crowdsourced entertainment destination megacommunity online.

    Finally, a comment on a topic you mentioned in this post but delved into more deeply in a preceding blog post. Everyone agrees the rush to zero in terms of ebook pricing is not optimal in the long run. (For several decades in the recent past, we had economists telling us individual optimization is resource allocation magic. Look where that got us.) At one point, you mentioned the eventual outcome would most likely be a literary world where many writers just stop writing altogether. (Some might disagree that would be a bad outcome! On a macro scale– But as Keynes said, in the long run we’re all dead.) When I look at popular music, and how up-and-coming musicians have survived and even prospered, I can’t help feeling fiction writers need to learn some new tricks, too. Or at least, they need to learn the tricks which are already old-hat to people like James Patterson and Nora Roberts. Already, writers are expected to have an online social presence. For bizarre reasons I’m unable to fathom, readers seem interested — often to the point of obsession as if their favourite authors are players in a soap opera — in the people who write the books they love and enjoy. Performance is the new recording; real-time communication is the new dead-tree artifact. What was the book, but a way of communicating one’s storytelling to the many? For stories, the book is dead. Long live the ebook.

    (Content is King.)

    1. 1) There’s already a Mirasol eReader called Kyobo out in Korea. So it seems a Mirasol Kindle couldn’t be too far.

      2) The problem with a crowd-sourced recommendation engine is that it has to both have purity of purpose (as opposed to just being an advertisement deliver engine) and have financial backing. It is, however, what must emerge to save books. Not sure who’s going to do it. I’m not in position to do it at the moment.

      3) I think what you’ve written in your last para is the second hope. The first being some way to stall the race to zero.

      No one seems to be taking all the obvious ideas and avenues i.e. special versions of books, author tshirts, author paid tours, etc. and making something solid with it. It’s interesting how few authors think of themselves as a brand and a business – versus just producers of books that are sold by someone else.

      thanks for the comment. I’ve thought a lot about the curation issue and all the ramifications. It’s just something very dangerous to get into. Especially if books continue to race to zero. If there’s no money left for authors where will the money for an author focused curation engine come from?

      1. For clarity, I’m not saying you yourself and your individual business associates ought to sponsor, out of your own resources, some curation engine. I’m suggesting there may be a parallel between the hobbyists — who were professional programmers and software engineers in their day jobs — who pioneered the free software movement, and today’s generation of techies who increasingly work in socially focused businesses. (I would include employees of gaming companies in this category.) There is room for a culturally oriented social engine that does different things from what Facebook,, Apple Store, etc. do. The young people consuming the new cultural artifacts will see a way to fill the new need.

        (Financial backing for the free software was partially in the form of tacit agreement by employers to permit participation of their employees, perhaps provide some logistical support. etc.There was a natural tendency, because of the origins of a good chunk of the foundation work in science/academia, to view those types of production — or at least their basis — as a public good which ought to be available to all. The contrast with cultural production lies in the latter’s historical and philosophical struggle to legitimize itself through financial success — which has perhaps resulted in the tendency of cultural producers to jealously guard their right to make money from their product.)

    2. I’m one of those who actually looks at the “those who bought” books mostly when the book I’m getting is free. I’ve often found free books in the “those who bought” section that have otherwise dropped off the radar. Whether I’ll ever find time to read all of them is a whole other matter.

  18. I gotta say – having used the K2, the K3 (K Keyboard), and now the K touch – for me, the Touch is the absolute star of the line. I haven’t actually read any negative reviews of it so I don’t know what the complaints are but whatever they are definitely are not universal. I LOVE this device. I’m going to give it a five-star review now 🙂

  19. First, thank you for the blog. It’s been a terrific way to compare the eReaders out there, and the direction of the industry.

    I think periodic references to free or inexpensive ebooks is also very helpful. Limiting the references to highly-rated books is a good middle-ground way of transitioning away from what you see as too much of a loss-leader approach to ebook sales.

    Whichever direction you choose, I plan to keep reading, and, again, I thank you for a marvelous blog.

  20. I agree with most of the comments. I would prefer option 1 with the priviso that free books 4* and higher. The commentaries you provide save checking out each book description on the amazon site. The book market is getting diluted with poor writing and editing by anyone who thinks about doing a book. Standards need to be maintained.

    I would prefer that you keep your associate fees. No one is forced to use your page to get to Amazon, but you do alot of work and deserve some compensation.

    I check your blog daily and really enjoy it.

  21. There are often people who post accusing you of “hiding” the fact that you make money off the blog. Have you thought about adding a disclaimer link giving that information? A lot of websites have disclaimers.

    There are blogs of various kinds where you have to pay to subscribe. I’d much rather have you making money from Amazon than from me. 🙂 You put a lot of time and effort into your posts (including the free book posts). You deserve to be compensated for your time.

      1. Thanks for the link. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that page before. There’s a lot of good information about the blog, your mission, links to posts, etc. Interesting reading.

  22. I agree with many of the sentiments above. You obviously put a fantastic amount of effort into your posts. Although I don’t agree with all your opinions I truly appreciate how you often present both sides of the story in a well laid out point form format.

    You obviously have very strong convictions and choose to stand behind what you say with action rather than just words.

    Anyway, I always look forward to reading your posts each week! Keep up the great work!

  23. I have enjoyed the blog since about February, poking through the posts once a week or two. I don’t pay much attention to the free book listings, so whatever you decide on I’m sure will be fine. I agree with the vast majority of the sentiments you’ve outlined. Maybe a minor quibble to say that some authors and publishers have used free books quite effectively to drive rankings, and sales of other books, but I would not disagree that the net impact of these on authors as a whole is negative.

    In any case, I agree that the crowd-sourced recommendation engine is the most important thing you mentioned that could contribute to the further democratization of publishing. Although purity of purpose is indeed a challenge, I tend to think a bigger potential problem is a technical one. Namely, how do you ensure that the crowd is not particularly susceptible to manipulation? One way is by creating a large enough crowd. But that won’t happen unless you’ve addressed the manipulation problem in other ways first. Another way – the way Amazon does it with rankings,also-boughts,etc – is by basing it almost solely on actual purchases. Ebay maintains the relative integrity of their feedback by also basing it on actual transactions, though Ebay feedback is a much narrower kind of thing than we’re shooting for here. Regardless, I can’t really think of a practical way to tie into actual sales data from various vendors (screen scraping or vendor API are not practical/allowable for anything large-scale), plus I think we’d want the engine to transcend that at least somewhat.

    I’m sure the ideas are out there, but I see this as an even bigger sticking point than purity. Or maybe a more accurate way to put it is that by solving this problem, we will have solved the purity problem as well. As for how much financial backing is needed, that probably depends on the answer to what the characteristics of the engine need to be in order to prevent manipulation.

    1. That’s a very good point.

      Actual purchases are a good criteria – though not perfect. Actual books read and reviews might be better. Only Amazon and B&N have that information – books finished. And only readers know how they felt about the book.

      The Crowd can provide things Amazon can’t. There will always be people trying to manipulate the crowd engines. Plus the crowd engine will always be susceptible to indirect manipulation i.e. advertising, customer information collection, etc.

      It’s a tough problem. I think if someone thinks through it well they can solve it without money being a sticking point.

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